Cast Away recounts the epic tales of the survivors of shipwreck, mutiny and marooning through the ages and around the globe, focusing on the age of sail and steam.
It captures some of the most magical, romantic, gruesome, exciting and bizarre stories of the sea, presenting for the reader's delectation the suffering of innocents; the ruthless predations of pirates; the last-resort horrors of cannibalism; the sinister lure of wreckers with false lights; encounters with ferocious indigenous tribes; the unfettered madness of religious maniacs and psychopaths; and survival against all odds.
And behind every tale of tragedy or triumph is the eternal mystery and majesty of the depthless, merciless, unpredictable ocean. Cast Away presents its stories grouped by region of the world, with the accounts organised chronologically within each section.
The stories include: 'The Batavia' castaways of Western Australia's Abrolhos Islands in 1629, a tale of madness, murder, mutiny and rape; the Wagnerian opera singer Lilian Nordica, cast away on Torres Strait in 1914, an experience she survived only by a few days; and, the mutiny led by psychopath Samuel Comstock on the Nantucket whaler the 'Globe' near Hawaii in 1824, with survivors kept for years as slaves by indigenous tribes.